After an employee tested positive for COVID-19, Deli Board has closed up shop for the first time since the start of the pandemic
All things told, Deli Board, the popular SoMa-based purveyor of giant, meat-stuffed sandwiches (and a perennial member of the Eater 38), has weathered the coronavirus about as well as can be expected. The deli dabbled for a time with a bike courier delivery service and, mainly, just kept its doors open — owner Adam Mesnick tells Eater SF that he lucked out in the sense that he sells sandwiches, an inherently takeout-friendly food.
But earlier this week, the restaurant announced that it would be shutting down for the first time since the start of the pandemic, after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.
According to Mesnick, the worker appeared visibly ill when he came in for a short shift last Thursday night, was tested on Friday, and received his positive test result on Sunday — prompting Mesnick to make the decision to temporarily shut down the business starting on Monday. He’s instructed all of his workers to get tested for COVID-19 and to self-quarantine until the restaurant reopens next week, on July 30.
For Mesnick, the situation highlights the impossible situation that local restaurateurs find themselves in: Even as the virus continues to spike in the city, they feel compelled to stay open for business reasons: “It’s jobs,” he says. “It’s people’s rent. A lot of people, just for me closing seven or eight business days, they’re going to have to collect temporary unemployment.”
Mesnick says he’s confident that the restaurant kept stringent safety protocols throughout the coronavirus crisis, but this incident will likely prompt him to make further changes — perhaps eliminating “extracurricular activities,” like his Thursday night burger pop-ups, and having everyone who enters the shop fill out a health questionnaire. He expects Deli Board to come back strong — but, in the meantime, “it is sure painful,” he says.
And in other news...
- Businesses in downtown Santa Cruz has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis, which has caused a slew of permanent closures — including, most recently, a beloved Irish pub, Poet & Patriot. [Santa Cruz Sentinel]
- Palo Alto has a new grassroots delivery service, Giving Fruits, in which a local resident buys fruit in bulk from Northern California farms and brings them back to Palo Alto, distributing them to neighbors who have placed orders ahead of time. Best of all, any profit that Giving Fruits makes all gets donated to local nonprofits. [Palo Alto Online]
- Finally, in case you missed it, did you know that Nopalito’s new takeout window in the Mission opened last week? It’s a nice balm for folks who are still grieving the permanent closure of the restaurant’s Inner Sunset location, especially since there are a few new items that are unique to the takeout window, including totopos topped with the restaurant’s famed carnitas. [Tablehopper]